In This Chapter
Seeing the difference between conjugated and isolated alkenes
Examining 1,2- and 1,4-additions to alkenes
Distinguishing kinetics from thermodynamics
Seeing the Diels–Alder reaction of conjugated dienes
Some of the first reactions that you saw in organic chemistry were likely the reactions of alkenes (discussed in Chapter 10), but those reactions don’t close the book on this important functional group. Multiple double bonds that alternate in a carbon chain, called conjugated alkenes, have different properties and reactivities than double bonds that exist all by their lonesome. In this chapter, I explore some of these differences, and use the reaction of conjugated double bonds with acids to explain the difference between kinetics and thermodynamics. I also show you perhaps the most interesting reaction in organic chemistry, the Diels–Alder reaction, which lets you easily form rings and bizarre bicyclic structures.
Conjugated double bonds are molecules in which ...